News and Insights

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Alaska Funders Rallied Together Around Major State Budget Cuts Proposed in 2019

01/21/2020

Meredith Higashi | Throughout 2019, the state budget was a top concern for Alaskan communities and organizations. To balance the budget, Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed $1.6 billion in spending cuts that would have a devastating impact across the state, including for housing and homeless programs, arts programs, Medicaid, the University of Alaska system, civil legal services, early childhood and more. With a steep battle to minimize the magnitude of the cuts, Alaskans worked to take a united stand for their communities. The scale of the budget crisis necessitated new ways of leading together, especially among funders. more »

Reflecting on Racial Equity and Civic Engagement

02/11/2016

Gloris Estrella, Program Associate | When the opportunity to join First Alaskans Institute's “Partners for the Next 10,000 Years … A Racial Equity Summit” arose earlier this month, I literally jumped out of my swivel chair with excitement! After gathering 200 people together in a room, all of us passionate about empowering communities and dismantling hundreds of years of oppression, we were bound to walk away with something like a solution, right? Well, not quite. We need to think more about restructuring the current system that is failing so many. More philanthropists should get their hands on the ground, side by side with the communities they so deeply care about. Join the marches, attend town hall meetings, convene your grantees and local businesses around racial tensions they face, write to your local representatives, audit internal policies and ensure they are equitable and inclusive. In an election year, it's even more imperative that philanthropists be at the forefront of the issues we care about. more »